Orrin Hatch, the senior U.S. Senator for Utah who announced his retirement plans Tuesday, has spent four decades in the U.S. Senate. He also once wrote a Hanukkah song.
The song, titled “Eight Days of Hanukkah,” was written on the suggestion of Jeffrey Goldberg, now the editor of The Atlantic. Goldberg mentioned the idea in 1999, in an interview for a New York Times Magazine piece about Hatch’s interest in songwriting. Nine years later, after Goldberg mentioned the exchange on his Atlantic blog, Hatch emailed him the lyrics.
In 2009, Hatch recorded the song for Tablet Magazine.
It’s not exactly a classic of the genre. But it’s certainly respectable, as far as Hanukkah songs penned by Mormon U.S. Senators go.
Hatch said in his retirement video that he looks forward to spending more time with his family, but did not mention songwriting among his post-retirement plans. Perhaps he’ll work on a Simchat Torah medley?
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Orrin Hatch Is Retiring. Remember His Hanukkah Song?